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  1. #3604

    Currency

    Quote Originally Posted by Bart1  [View Original Post]
    There is no 10% tax on Canuck bank issued credit cards...Bank Debit Cards do not work in Cuba! Cash is king so bring Cads, Euros, signs in banks say no Aussie $, so beware you aussies. There are 2 Banco De Metropolitanos in centro, one on the prado and one on galiano with on the street atms, I have used both, max was $300 cuc per transaction. Poor english skills in la habana, beware any guys on the street who speaks english! You only need to know 3 words to survive...cerveza, chica, pollo...foto is dinner at the americano cafe on galiano next door to the casa de musica.. 2 mojitos, 1 beer, camarones con arroz, total cost $9 cuc.
    Hey Bart,

    What about American money, would you change to Canadian money than to cuc, last time I went 5 years ago I lost money changing back and forth.

  2. #3603
    Quote Originally Posted by Guillermo  [View Original Post]
    Couple more words might help; quiero, and the most important word for any monger, cuanto?

    BTW - Is the local cerveza in Cuba any good?
    Hello Guillermo,

    Thank you for adding words to the list. I am planning to visit for the first time in June with limited Spanish skills. So any word counts.

  3. #3602
    Quote Originally Posted by Bart1  [View Original Post]
    Finding a casa particular with private entrance is difficult.
    Is it essential to have a private entrance? Can you bring the chicas in if they have their carnet card?

  4. #3601
    Quote Originally Posted by Bart1  [View Original Post]
    You only need to know 3 words to survive...cerveza, chica, pollo...foto is dinner at the americano cafe on galiano next door to the casa de musica.. 2 mojitos, 1 beer, camarones con arroz, total cost $9 cuc.
    Couple more words might help; quiero, and the most important word for any monger, cuanto?

    BTW - Is the local cerveza in Cuba any good?

  5. #3600

    Atms

    Quote Originally Posted by Ewe52  [View Original Post]
    Hey Guys,

    My Canadian buddy is planning a trip for us to Havana, both our first time going. Just a few questions:

    I'm bring CAD to exchange but if I run out of the cash can I withdraw from ATM or Banks without 10% tax with my card?

    Also not really fluent in Spainish what's are the locals like with their english skills? I assume I'm going to look like a juicy lamb chop to them, but will I be generally understood?

    Thanks
    There is no 10% tax on Canuck bank issued credit cards...Bank Debit Cards do not work in Cuba! Cash is king so bring Cads, Euros, signs in banks say no Aussie $, so beware you aussies. There are 2 Banco De Metropolitanos in centro, one on the prado and one on galiano with on the street atms, I have used both, max was $300 cuc per transaction. Poor english skills in la habana, beware any guys on the street who speaks english! You only need to know 3 words to survive...cerveza, chica, pollo...foto is dinner at the americano cafe on galiano next door to the casa de musica.. 2 mojitos, 1 beer, camarones con arroz, total cost $9 cuc.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_1470.jpg‎  

  6. #3599

    2 Weeks in Havana

    Landed at Varadero airport via Westjet air only, no package, from Vancouver mid April. I was probably the only person on the flight going directly into La Habana, others getting picked up by tour buses headed to the Varadero beach hotels. Viazul bus lines goes the 3 hrs into La Habana from the airport but only every 2 or 3 hours. There are a few tour buses going directly into La Habana, I wandered around the parking lot a found one with all german tourists going to the city, driver wanted $20 cuc, the locals pronounce the cuc as coos, the national currency as cubanos 25 to 1. Good deal took me directly to my hotel in Vedado where I stayed for 2 nites while looking for accommodation in centro. There is a new 3 cubano coin, value $.12 USD, same value as the paper 3 cubano note with che foto the new coin' new to me as my last visit 4 years ago, is the same size as the $1 cuc coin. Value $1.00 USD. Cubans can do the math..cubano coin value $.12 USD versus $1.00 USD, good profit margin eh? So now the really important stuff, Chicas...The Malecon from Prado de Marti 'centro la habana' west to near vedado border is a total right off.not sure about the vedado area of the malecon... Because of high police presence. I saw few chicas there and was told by others chicas I met elsewhere that they avoid the malecon area. There are chicas on the prado de marti and obispo. The best areas I found was on galiano, lots around the several block area either way from the casa de musica on galiano at neptuno. An excellent restaurant next door to the casa de musica is the "americano".

    $1 cuc mojitos, excellent food and great prices, lots of cubanos, air con, and in 2 weeks I never saw another gringo in there. You can meet chicas on all the streets between galiano and parque central 'top end of the prado' about 6 blocks. The chicas like to wink you as they pass you on the street. Finding a casa particular with private entrance is difficult. I stayed in 5 different casas in centro and always some problems. Stayed 2 nites in a chicas home, her carnet card stolen so could not enter casa I spent a whole day with her going to 3 different offices getting a replacement, she had her sister and sisters 2 kids go to a novios house. Apartment had no running water, just a 45 gallon barrel, no frig, 2 burner gas stove, we showered cubano style, with a dipper into a 5 gal pail with water heated on the stove. This was near the Lincoln hotel on galiano. She was 19 and I am 60+ and wanted to get married. So what should a guy do? I left Cuba and am now in my favorite city Medellin, Colombia, but I sure do love those cubanas and will stop in La Habana on my way back to Kanuckistan, Canada.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_1501.jpg‎  

  7. #3598

    RE: Travelling with a Cubana from place to place

    Quote Originally Posted by AngryMime666  [View Original Post]
    For me it will come down to just meeting one I find attractive and seeing if she would like to spend time with me. Not sure if she would be interested in my adventures but, its my vacation and I would make sure she was having an excellent time.

    This website is an awesome wealth of information.

    Thanks
    I missed this part of your earlier message and I am surprised others did not chime in already. So you are thinking of finding a woman and having her accompany you on your backpacking / hiking journeys. I would probably recommend against it, because you are a first timer and like you said, you are just now learning Spanish through Rosetta Stone. There are so many things unique to Cuba out there that you have to experience on the ground, and that is just for a regular traveler. I suggest you adopt a wait and see approach. If you meet a Cubana that you feel comfortable enough to haul around, then good for you. However, the chances of you meeting a woman, asking her to accompany you and then living to regret it are pretty good.

    A Latino friend of mine just came back from Cuba a few months ago. He had told his woman, a Santiaguera, that he was coming months in advance. He was planning to hang out in Havana for a day, head to Trinidad for about 2 days, then go to Santiago to spend time with her. Somehow, she talked him into having her meet him at the airport in Havana. So she traveled to Havana, met him at the airport and the whole thing was a nightmare for him although he had been to Cuba several times before AND was a fluent Spanish speaker.

    I had actually advised him against the idea of his chica meeting him at Jose Marti airport when he was in the process of planning his trip. He said he missed her so much and wanted to maximize the amount of time they would spend together, now he never wants to see her again. He told me that his trip would have been better of she had just met him at the Viazul bus station in Santiago. Es Cuba!

  8. #3597
    Quote Originally Posted by AngryMime666  [View Original Post]
    Hello gents,

    I'm planning to go to Cuba in September of this year.

    The forums have been an excellent way of learning from members good and not so good experiences. I have looked through at least fifty pages of previous reviews and have learned a lot. I do have questions though. I would really like to hike and wander the country side and if things go in my favour meet some lovely women. Its not my main motive for Cuba, but companionship while traveling alone would be fantastic. I have been learning spanish through rosetta stone, although I don't see myself being fluent.

    From reading members post and attached pictures I have noticed something. All the women posted tend to be very thin / athletic. For me this is a tad worrisome. I tend to like my women thicker, darker and a little more fluffy. I would assume there are all different shape colour an sizes of woman in Cuba?

    I will most likely get a package deal from toronto, and use the hotel as a base. I'd really just like to explore. I tend to just throw a pack on my back and just walk in a direction till I'm lost. Perhaps get a room for rent for the night while backpacking? I normally would not do this in a country such as Jamaica, but have done it in Europe. Is it safe enough to do in Cuba?

    Much appreciated.
    Cuba is very safe and the women come in all shapes, sizes and colours.

  9. #3596
    Locals don't speak good English where I've been to in Cuba, although I've never been to Havana. Everybody's English there is pretty shitty. People understand numbers though.

    I have withdrawn cash from a Cadeca (currency exchange booth) using a Canadian MasterCard. You will pay a $5 fee and then you will pay the CAD-USD exchange rate difference + %2.5 (or whatever your credit card charges for forex transactions).

    You will also pay a little fee. E. G I took out $100 CUC and to take that out they charged my credit card for $103.25 USD, which got paid in Canadian.

    But YMMV. It is Cuba, there really aren't rules and the money system is fucked up.

    As the other poster mentioned, bring more hard cash than you need. If you are brave, bring USD and exchange on the street.

  10. #3595

    ATM in Havana

    Hi,

    I took a VISA credit card cash advance from a bank on the main street Obispo in Old Havana. The machine had the VISA sign on it and I had no problems. Not sure if it would work for a bank card though. I would bring mucho cash and use them as a last resort. Call your credit card company regarding fees.

    You should have no problems with your limited Spanish, just use the same caution as you would anywhere else.

    Guy

    Quote Originally Posted by Ewe52  [View Original Post]
    Hey Guys,

    My Canadian buddy is planning a trip for us to Havana, both our first time going. Just a few questions:

    I'm bring CAD to exchange but if I run out of the cash can I withdraw from ATM or Banks without 10% tax with my card?

    Also not really fluent in Spainish what's are the locals like with their english skills? I assume I'm going to look like a juicy lamb chop to them, but will I be generally understood?

    Thanks

  11. #3594
    Hey Guys,

    My Canadian buddy is planning a trip for us to Havana, both our first time going. Just a few questions:

    I'm bring CAD to exchange but if I run out of the cash can I withdraw from ATM or Banks without 10% tax with my card?

    Also not really fluent in Spainish what's are the locals like with their english skills? I assume I'm going to look like a juicy lamb chop to them, but will I be generally understood?

    Thanks

  12. #3593

    Off the beaten path and black women.

    Quote Originally Posted by Velasco  [View Original Post]
    First to Questner, the guy seems to be more interested in hiking than backpacking. It is uncommon, but not necessarily dangerous. I feel like the tourism system is set up to discourage backpacking, especially since there is no network of "Hostels." There are individuals who still try to pull it off but it is not easy and you will have to do your research...
    Hey,

    Thanks Velasco for the reply.

    I googled backpacking a couple of weeks ago in Cuba and came up with a lot of positive results. Its just not that common of a outing or activity as you said; but I'm also a safety concerned traveler, hence the question to people who have been before. I guess most of the gentlemen that have vacationed don't do the back packing hiking getaway.

    Thanks for the references, Ill check them out.

    Phew. I was getting worried going through the pics before, since I like a thicker woman with a big booty. For me it will come down to just meeting one I find attractive and seeing if she would like to spend time with me. Not sure if she would be interested in my adventures but, its my vacation and I would make sure she was having an excellent time.

    This website is an awesome wealth of information.

    Thanks

  13. #3592

    Hiking, going off the beaten path and black women.

    First to Questner, the guy seems to be more interested in hiking than backpacking. It is uncommon, but not necessarily dangerous. I feel like the tourism system is set up to discourage backpacking, especially since there is no network of "Hostels." There are individuals who still try to pull it off but it is not easy and you will have to do your research.

    That said, there are several options for hiking. There are several national parks and places where you can go hiking. There is the Vinales area east of Havana, the Sierra Escambray just outside of Trinidad, the famous Sierra Maestra and the El Yunque area of Baracoa. Those are just the best known places, and I have done some hiking at some of these places myself. There are offices or individuals that will arrange transportation to and from the park from the nearest town. The good thing about hiking in Cuba is that the country is small enough for you to get a good hike followed by a shower and a clean bed at the end of the day.

    This being Cuba, you cannot just show up and walk into the park to hike by yourself in these places. You may be required to pay for a park ranger to accompany you. Maybe some of the other smaller parks may allow you to go on your own, but I do no know of any. I recommend you get a guide book like Moon Books or do more research elsewhere online.

    Yes, there are all sorts of women in Cuba, you will meet more than your share of black women if that is your thing. Black women are very under represented on this site, if you ask me. You will have no problem meeting black women similar to the following actresses and singers: Jordin Sparks (American Idol fame) , Kimberly Elise, Jennifer Hudson (Before the weight loss) , Naomie Harris (007 fame) , Anika Noni Rose and even Queen Latifah.

    Heck, I would even throw in Cuban actresses like Christina Milian, Gina Torres and Rosario Dawson. Judging by the pictures people post here, some may need to google the names I have just given. Good luck!

  14. #3591

    That's disappointing

    Quote Originally Posted by Questner  [View Original Post]
    I will bite this one. 'Hiking and backpacking' is uncommon and dangerous. Your ass will be picked up by a police patrol guaranteed. Walking alone on an empty highway on a rainy sticky September day? Insane! City walks in most cases are safe.
    Thanks, I appreciate the information. Disappointing indeed, but safety first.

    I may need to rethink since this may put a damper on visiting. I don't do well with sitting around, I like to wander and explore. I guess I could wander through havana. I'm going to use google but if any members here have anything that they think would be of note worthy interest while on foot exploration I would listen.

    Thanks Questner. You may have saved my bacon.

  15. #3590
    I will bite this one. 'Hiking and backpacking' is uncommon and dangerous. Your ass will be picked up by a police patrol guaranteed. Walking alone on an empty highway on a rainy sticky September day? Insane! City walks in most cases are safe.

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